Miguel Irribarren began coaching at the age of 19 after sustaining an ACL injury as a way to stay in the game, but it soon became an obsession after a very successful first season both in terms of results and seeing his players develop.
“My dad is Peruvian and my mum Spanish so football is in my blood. My brother and I played since we were young and it grew into a healthy competition, but also a way of life. The one thing that brings us all together is when football is played or spoken of, that’s the power of the game and the impact it had on me. I’ve played my whole life, I referee and now I coach (both outdoor and futsal) so I’m fully immersed.”
In the 6 years since then, Miguel has coached at Saint Augustines, Futsal with Macquarie University at the Unigames, and now Forest Killarney, and his passion has only grown.
“I’m very passionate on and off the sidelines, and I like to act as an extra-man on the field. The players fight for us and I fight for them. Diego Simeone is my favourite coach, and if I could one day reach 1/10th of what he is, then I’d be happy with what I would have achieved in coaching.”
As someone who has coached both outdoor football and Futsal, Miguel has an interesting perspective on how both sports relate to each other.
“I believe that football is a numbers game. Everywhere on the Futsal court you can create 2v1s, 3v2s etc, and it’s the same with football. This is now the driving force of my trainings, and it can also be utilised for defensive principles to ensure adequate balance and cover.”
Miguel does however believe there is more to coaching than just tactics.
“For me, a coach is more a mentor, and the role is more about man management. The players know football, and we are just there to guide them in a direction of play to achieve the result we’re after. We are all humans at the end of it and what matters most is the life skills we get out of football. This is where man management is so crucial; to get to know players individually, to be better citizens of the world and improve their confidence, but also fostering team environments with the right culture. Our role as coaches is very important and I relish these moments.”
Miguel would like to eventually reach the highest level of coaching that he can, whether in youth or senior football.
“In the short term I will continue to coach at Forest Killarney and look to complete my B Licence as soon as possible. I just want to continue learning and be the best I can be for the players that I have. If I do that well, success will come. Through this adventure, I want to help the players reach their potential and enjoy the highs and lows of football together.”
MWFA will be running a workshop with Miguel and his team in late July which all coaches are welcome to attend. For more information on this and other available workshops, please see here: https://www.mwfa.com.au/2020/07/06/new-mwfa-coach-workshops-available/
MWFA is looking forward to seeing Miguel continue to inspire and motivate the players he works with.
Look out for more articles on other MWFA Future Coaches in the coming weeks.